New lease of life for Academy Street

A recovery in trade in one of Cork’s city centre’s under-performing streets — Academy Street — is heralded with the opening this weekend of a new restaurant, CoqBull, which replaces hospitality supremo Jay Bourke’s long-established Cafe Bar Deli.

New lease of life for Academy Street

It will be followed in the coming weeks by a wine bar/cafe, in the nearby Nos 11/12, Academy Street, to be run by a specialist wine importer, and planning has just been approved for a change of use to this end.

Nos 11 and 12 previously traded as jewellery shops Kielys and Noel Gleeson, and a licence is being applied for following change of use approval.

Close-by, a new ladies fashion shop has started trading on Academy Street, in the former tobacconists M&P O’Sullivan, operated by a Polish couple the Felsners, in a deal done by Frank V Murphy & Co.

Meanwhile, a new user for the former Jeff Devine hairdressers and beauty school has also been secured via agent Timothy Sullivan.

Dublin and Wexford hairdresser Alan Keville is to take on the premises on Academy Street, paying a c €40,000 pa rent, in a deal negotiated by Cearbhall Behan of Behan Irwin Gosling.

Mr Behan of BIG also negotiated the deal on the former c 3,000 sq ft Cafe Bar Deli (previously a book-shop before being upgraded to restaurant in the early 2000s), which has dual access to French Church Street.

Branded as CoqBull, and with the backers (understood to be associated with the Cornstore restaurants in Cork and Limerick) also aiming to open a similar venture in London and possibly other Irish outlets also, the new business commences this weekend, primarily serving cocktails, rotisserie and other chicken dishes, Irish beef burgers, fish, etc, with a ‘ no bull’ vegetarian choice also. Design and concept is by London-based restaurant and bar designers Blacksheep

Letting terms haven’t been divulged, and while c €75,000 pa had been initially quoted, it’s understood the final deal was done by the tenant directly with the private investor landlord.

End figures might have been in the region of €220 psm.

Fit-out on the new Coqbull has been undertaken in the few weeks, and along with the new wine-bar and re-opening hairdressing business, there’s expected to be renewed energy on Academy Street, which links Patrick Street to Emmet Place/Paul Street, where Apple is a major employer, and Boots a major occupier. In the past several years, the street lost traction as most Opera Lane retail activity in the new Owen O’Callaghan development (plus apartments) is done from pedestrian street Opera Lane, while French Church Street has created its own vibe with its more characterful buildings and pedestrian-friendly ambience.

Also on French Church Street deals are advancing via Peter O’Meara of Savills for the former Moderne shop with its main entrance on Patrick Street, with names like chicken restaurant Nandos and fashion retailer SuperDry rumoured as new likely presences.

In the same vicinity, restaurant deals have also recently been done on Paul Street, with Dublin-based Mexican food company Burritos and Blues replacing Puccinos, and on Careys Lane, an off-market deal has been done by Cearbhall Behan on Kethners to a new restaurateur.

“The hospitality sector has seen a huge increase in demand since confidence has returned and we have noticed that people are spending that little bit extra on entertainment.

“The opening of a new restaurant like CoqBull, and the others following in adjoining streets, is good for Cork, giving more choice for people coming into the city centre and showing confidence in the Academy/French Church Street district as a hospitality destination,” said Mr Behan.

Details: Behan Irwin Gosling 021-270007; Timothy Sullivan 021-4275888; Frank V Murphy & Co 021-4274204; www.blacksheep.co.uk

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